Oddly Enough

Every pupil's dream: the exam with answers on back

A pupil at Withington Girls School receives her GCSE exam results in Manchester, August 21, 2003. REUTERS/Jon Super

LONDON (Reuters) - It sounds like every student’s dream -- turning over an exam paper and finding the answers on the back.

But that was what happened to 12,000 lucky teenagers when they sat their GCSE music exam last week.

The OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA) examination board admitted on Thursday that, because of a “printing error”, papers sent to schools had answers to questions on the back page.

“All exam papers have a copyright statement dealing with source material on the back page,” an OCR spokeswoman said. “This one in particular had more detail than is usual in a music paper.”

The exam board said only 5 percent of the overall marks on the paper were possibly affected and students would not have to do a re-sit as most pupils seemed to have been unaware of their good fortune.

“It is unlikely that any of the 12,000 students sitting the examination would have recognised the value of the information ... and subsequently used it,” said the spokeswoman, adding there had been just 20 queries from teachers.

“OCR is confident that the procedures put in place will ensure that all candidates get the grades that their hard work deserves.”

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison